PLANS TO demolish the old blacksmith’s forge behind Upper Norwood library and replace it with a five-storey block of flats have been submitted to Lambeth council.
If the plans were approved they would effectively scupper a long-term plan to extend the upper floor of the library onto the roof of the 1960s extension which houses the children’s library – with a new large rear window giving panoramic views across vast swathes of London.
Two applications – both worded exactly the same – have been made for the former forge at 20 – 22 Beardell Street, the road which runs down the side of the library. Both are for the demolition of the existing building and the erection of a five-storey development comprising two commercial units and nine apartments.
The first application (12/02665?FUL) is by Lime Associates UK of 4 Belvedere Road, Upper Norwood and has various supporting documents. The second, 12/02666?CON has no supporting documents at the time of writing.
In February 2008 Cllr Graham Pycock (Con. Gipsy Hill) told a meeting of the Upper Norwood joint library committee that the housing developer who wanted to develop the old forge at the back of the library in Beardell Street by offering an upper level extension to the library along with finance to fit it out in exchange for part of the car park had not received an answer to his proposal over a six-month period.
Cllr Pycock’s report was circulated to the meeting but not discussed after the committee received legal advice that the report should have been circulated to members at least five working days in advance of the meeting to give members time to take a considered view on its contents, unless it was something sudden which materially affected the well-being of the library.
(NB The developer appears to be a different company to the one making the current application).
IN A SEPARATE application involving 16 Beardell Street Mr Janusz Wieckowski of Raydon, Ipswich, Suffolk has made an outline application for the demolition of 16 Beardell Street and the erection of nine self-contained flats.
The plans for no. 16 would “utilise basement and roof space, including excavation to provide light wells to front and rear elevation, with possible provision of residential parking”.
Anyone wishing to view the applications on the Internet should go to ‘lambeth.gov planning register’ and type in ‘Beardell Street’.
FURTHER READING: Page 64 of Crystal Palace – Norwood Heights – a pictorial record by Audrey Hammond and Brian Dann.